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  • Guide to Plastic Safety: What You Need to Know About Plastic Resin Codes

    Not all plastic are fantastic. Many plastic containers produced for household use may release chemicals that could be dangerous to your family’s health.
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    Read on to learn more about plastic resin codes and what numbers to avoid.


    Plastic resin numbers to avoid: 7, 3 and 6

    1. Plastic resin number 7 is the category that includes polycarbonate (PC), the plastic material that contains the dreaded chemical, bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA is also an endocrine disruptor, which has been discovered by the U.S. National Institutes of Health to have an effect on a baby’s brain development and behavior. A 2008 study by researchers from the Yale School of Medicine also discovered that BPA can interfere with brain functions that are important to memory, learning and mood.

    Although not all resin number 7 plastics contains BPA, it is still wise to avoid them altogether. You really can't be sure what a resin number 7 plastic container is made of because it is the “others” category in the resin code system. It is an umbrella code for all plastics that don’t fall under resin numbers 1 to 6. One resin number 7 plastic that is regarded safe, though, is polyactide (PLA), which is a biodegradable plastic made from corn.

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    2. Vinyl chloride is another dangerous chemical, and it is found in plastic resin number 3 or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warns that vinly chloride is an environmental pollutant that can cause permanent or incapacitating ailments (e.g. liver cancer) in people. In addition, people who burn plastic items should be warned that burning polyvinyl plastics releases dioxins, which are known to cause immune system suppression, reproductive disorders and cancer.

     

    3. Another material that contains suspected carcinogens or cancer-causing chemicals is plastic resin number 6 or polysterene (PS) plastic, which is made using chemicals like butadiene, benzene and styrene.

     

    Click here to learn more about the safest plastic resin numbers.

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